Monthly Archives: February 2014

Keith plays Brenda’s set and gets another shock

Keith showed up at the stage door and, despite that he carried a guitar case, the guard wouldn’t let him in. Anybody, after all, could come bopping up with an instrument trying to get in, and Brenda, in her frenzy, forgot to put him on the guest list. He went around front and couldn’t even pay to get in. The box office hadn’t opened. For the first time, he wished he had a cell phone and could call inside, have Brenda come out. Continue Reading →

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Energy coop uses lantern workshops to bring families, communities together

By Raymond Jackson Contributing Writer   Communities of Light Cooperative is a self-sufficiency, training and assessment organization whose first product is solar energy-related. In 2009 an organization named Communities of Light was formed by several Phillips Neighborhood residents, and in 2010 they began their Solar Lanterns and Solar Generators project/workshops due to great interest in helping to build healthier neighborhoods. The workshops and training began and continue with a mission of building strong and trusting neighborhoods. The organization’s goal is to positively enhance the mental and physical health of those in the neighborhood by providing services that would help them meet some of their daily life challenges. As a result of several earthquakes and other catastrophes, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake that destroyed entire towns and villages, taking approximately 22,000 lives, member of Communities of Light felt that a community group could grow strong while assisting others to heal and restore themselves to healthy living. Continue Reading →

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Wind energy commands a larger piece of the renewable energy pie


Hydroelectric sources of power dwarf other forms of renewable energy, but wind power has been a dominant second for years, and continues to show “hockey stick” growth moving forward. According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), global cumulative installed wind capacity — the total amount of wind power available — has grown fifty-fold in less than two decades, from just 6,100 megawatts (MW) in 1996 to 318,137 MW in 2013. And the future looks brighter still. Analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predict that wind will account for the largest share — 30 percent — of new renewables added to the global power grid by 2030. That new renewables are expected to account for as much as 70 percent of all new power sources over the next 20 years means that wind is poised to become a major player on the global energy scene. Continue Reading →

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Eye floaters — when to ignore them, when to seek help







Dear Doctor: When I look at anything with a bright background or at the sky, I see wiggly, squiggly lines. What are those?  

Those are called harmless retinal floaters. Eye floaters are small wiggly lines or spots that appear and move around in your field of vision. As you mention, they may be seen most often when you look at anything bright/white or a blue sky. Eye floaters can be disturbing, but they usually don’t affect your vision. Continue Reading →

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Fighting the Winter Blues

Are you experiencing the winter blues — sleeping more than usual, feeling lethargic, and craving carbohydrates? You might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that affects people during the same season each year, usually at the onset of winter and often as winter progresses. Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of SAD is the first step in getting help.  

Symptoms and causes

Between four and six percent of people in the United States suffer from SAD, while another 10 to 20 percent may experience some of the disorder’s symptoms. SAD is more common the further from the equator, where winter days are short and there is less exposure to daylight. Continue Reading →

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Current NBA stars honor their Black Fives predecessors







As we approach the wind-down days of Black History Month 2014, it’s refreshing to see other Black contributors besides the usual few names often presented — such as overlooked Black athletes who labored in virtual obscurity during the Jim Crow era. Thanks to the nonprofit Black Fives Foundation in New York for “tell[ing] the story of the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball.” The “Black Fives” name comes from the all-Black basketball teams that played in Brooklyn, Harlem, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Pittsburgh, Newark and Los Angeles. These teams “ushered in the Harlem Renaissance period, smashed the color barrier in pro basketball and helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement,” wrote founder Claude Johnson on the foundation’s website ( Johnson and director Loren Mendell teamed up with Fox Sports Net, which broadcasts NBA games for 13 teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves, to create a series of 30-second TV vignettes honoring Black Fives era pioneers during Black History Month. They are aired during halftime of the telecasts. Continue Reading →

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A long way from her Swedish family, Gopher center makes herself right at home

Spotlight on the Gophers 100






By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Freshman center Amanda Zahui B.


After sitting out last season after arriving at the University of Minnesota, one might think homesickness could be a common reoccurrence for Swedish-born Amanda Zahui B. But she says it’s not so: “I’ve been by myself since I was 15. I’m used to being away from my family,” the 6’-5” redshirt freshman center tells us. Despite her Patti Labelle declaration of being on her own, Zahui still misses her family. Continue Reading →

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Passion for Black history, culture leads couple to found company

Liberation Clothing and Gifts and Black History Expo result

By Isaac Peterson, III

Contributing Writer


About two years ago, Karla said to her husband Anthony, “Now is the time to start our own business,” and Liberation Clothing and Gifts was born. Karla, originally from Detroit, and Anthony, from the Chicago area, both relocated to the Twin Cities when they were young. Each showed an intense interest in Black history and culture from an early age, and both were frustrated with the lack of that type of information found in the public schools they attended. Of her time attending high school in Anoka, Karla says, “There weren’t very many people of color. They did not celebrate Black History Month or MLK Day at all at school. Continue Reading →

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When it comes to training dogs, Big D’s a winner

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


Even before Michael Vick’s infamous association with and incarceration for dog-fighting, the public imagination did not pair Black men and canines in a particularly shining light. The stereotype held of ghetto thugs, usually drug-dealers, abusing pit bulls by gambling on to-the-death matches or sporting them as vicious, four-legged bodyguards and sentinels for drug or money stashes — all of which makes an enterprise on the order of Big D’s Dog Training ( all the more refreshingly welcome. Going simply by the moniker Cooper, the internationally recognized behaviorist, handler, and instructor heading up Big D’s Dog Training of Circle Pines, MN owns and operates an inherited family business that couldn’t be farther removed from those unpopular perceptions. The thriving, nationally accomplished concern, he says, “started [in] South Minneapolis under the direction of my father, Catrell Cooper, who gave me the direction of hunting dogs. “My mother, Lucille Cooper…gave me the direction of science in the relation to dogs, and my sister Phyllis…gave me my first dog, Munica, a Mexican Fox Terrier. Continue Reading →

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